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Trump arrives in Beijing with trade, NK high on agenda
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania arrive on Air Force One at Beijing, China, November 8, 2017. Photo: Reuters
US President Donald Trump arrived in Beijing Wednesday for the third stop of his first Asian tour after taking power.
Trump will stay in Beijing from Wednesday to Friday, and is the first head of state to visit China since the Communist Party of China’s 19th National Congress which ended on October 24. It is also Trump’s first trip to China as president. 
‘State-visit plus’
The centerpiece of the visit will be Trump’s meeting with President Xi Jinping in the Great Hall of the People on Thursday, where they will discuss a series of issues ranging from North Korea to trade and hopefully sign some business deals which can help create jobs for America.
Apart from regular arrangements such as a welcoming ceremony, formal talks, reception banquet and meeting with the media, China has also set some informal interaction procedures that will provide sufficient time for the two presidents to fully exchange views on major issues that jointly concern the two sides, said Zheng Zeguang, China’s vice-foreign minister, last week.  
China’s ambassador to the US, Cui Tiankai, said Trump would receive a “state visit-plus” experience in Beijing. Although it’s still unclear what the “plus” means, Trump is expected to visit the Forbidden City, attend a formal banquet and participate in an inspection of Chinese troops. 
On Wednesday night, Trump is expected to dine with Xi inside the Jianfu Palace in the Forbidden City. The palace was built in the 18th century during Qing Dynasty. According to CNN, Trump will be the first foreign leader to have an official dinner in the palace since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.
In April, when President Xi Jinping visited Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, Trump arranged for a considerate and grand reception for Xi, and in return, China will also make some special arrangements for the US president, Zheng said.
China would “create a good atmosphere” with informal activities for the two presidents, so they have ample time to talk about important issues, Zheng said. 
“Among all the US presidents who have visited China since 1979, Trump is unique. He likes something pragmatic and pursues quick success. We must seize upon his special characteristics,” said Teng Jianqun, senior research fellow at the Center for China & Globalization (CCG).
'Historic meeting'
Trump is the 8th US president to visit China since 1972 when former President Richard Nixon visited China for a seven-day trip, signing the historic Shanghai Communique in which they agreed to stick to the One China policy. 
Despite heightened threat from North Korea’s nuclear program and a long time trade conflict between China and the US, US Ambassador to China Terry Branstad on Monday said the Xi-Trump meeting would be “very historic and significant”. 
“I think the chemistry between the two leaders is good and that bodes well. If the two leaders can get along well and work out some of the differences, hopefully that can help the rest of us to work things out well," he said. 
"We want to advance economic cooperation and prosperity in America as well as in China. We want to build on the progress and success that we already had to improve the relationship between our two countries," he said.
Reporters are waiting at the Beijing Capital International Airport for the arrival of the US President Donald Trump on Wednesday. Photo: Chunmei/
Longest Asia trip in 25 years
Trump’s trip to Asia will be the longest by an American president in more than 25 years, which is expected to be dominated by North Korea nuclear issue and trade. 
Before arriving in Beijing, Trump stopped in South Korea and Japan, both America’s allies. 
"No-one, no dictator, no regime ... should underestimate American resolve," Trump told the US and Japanese troops shortly after he arrived in Japan on Sunday at the Yokota air base near Tokyo.
Trump said in Seoul that Chinese President Xi Jinping has been ¬“really, very very helpful” in dealing with North Korea, adding that he also hopes “Russia likewise will be helpful.”
Before touching down in Japan, he told reporters onboard Air Force One that he expected to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin during his trip.
"I think it's expected we'll meet with Putin," he said. "We want Putin's help on North Korea."
In Vietnam, Trump will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit in Da Nang and make a state visit to Hanoi.
His final engagement is scheduled to be a summit of Southeast Asian nations in the Philippine capital, Manila, on 13 November, but the trip has now been extended by an extra day so he can also attend the East Asia Summit.
Last time a US president had such a long visit to Asia was in late 1991 and early 1992, when George HW Bush became ill at a Japanese state dinner.


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